It's my first time sewing with this fabric (actually, I haven't started the sewing part yet) but, already, I have some thoughts and feelings to share:
- Sometimes, when everyone warns that a fabric is an absolute bitch, you might find it's not quite as horrible as you'd imagine. It's called "experiential tempering" peeps, and in this circumstance, I'm all for it. It's the pleasant metaphoric flip side of the movie everyone raves about that turns out to be totally overrated by the time you get to see it.
- Having said this, I don't want to mislead you; it's a slippery mofo, so proceed with caution. Rotary cutting on a mat, with weights to stabilize the fabric, is the way to go. Pins and scissors can be tricky.
- While I was freaked to try this, Claire Schaeffer, in her awesome tome the Fabric Sewing Guide, advises that one should steam press the silk before cutting (if one intends to dry clean it going forward), to shrink and prepare it. Believe it or not, it works. I first steamed (on the wrong side), then pressed (I didn't even use a pressing cloth for some of it), and the fabric shrank considerably, but didn't mar in any way. I even got some water drops on the silk. My usually flawless iron somehow managed to leak on the most delicate of fabrics?!, but somehow the water didn't stain. Phew. I do intend to use a pressing cloth as I sew. BTW, Scott and I once spent 4 hours going through this sewing guide when totally inebriated and he found it fascinating. A guy who doesn't even sew. If you sew, you are crazy not to own this book.
- I suggest that the matte side of the fabric is better for those large of chest. It's less reflective.
- The way I learned the awful truth that FabricLand at Yonge and Bloor (the only central TO location) is closing, is that I had to go there today to purchase sharps. 60s are the best gauge for delicate silk. Special sharp pins are also wise. In truth, it's not rocket science. Just buy the correct materials and you will vastly improve your likelihood of success. I mean, you really don't want unnecessary holes in your charmeuse.
- I still don't know, exactly, how the placket and neck facing, self-fabric interfacing is going to work. I've thought it out in depth but you never know how it goes till it's gone. Keep your fingers crossed for me.
- I'm making view 1 this time (formerly I have made view 3, with the keyhole). I figure, working with such a tricky fabric, it would be best to make the construction as simple as possible. I only hope it looks good.